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mjher's Message:

I do bellwork. Once a month, I make up a list of activities, photocopy it and tape it into a folded over construction paper. They enjoy the different activities and they get to choose what they want to do. The very first thing they have to do is decorate their folder. I have attached this month's for you.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
3rdgradedawg 12-17-2008 12:17 PM

I do a variety of things for morning work. I use the Daily math worksheets (5 questions a day), I also do the daily reading warm ups. They are quick reads and have all different types of genres. Then there are 4 questions after each. It's a nice series because they have below level, on level, and above level selections. When they're done with that, they writing in their journal. I usually give a prompt but sometimes they have a 'free write' option.

Kermit21 12-11-2008 06:22 PM

Hi, I really liked your morning work. Do you have any more of them on the computer typed up in the same fashion. My kids loved it. If you do would you be able to send them to me. It would be so helpful.

zebrachick 07-24-2008 03:23 PM

I love your bellwork and am planning on incorporation it. Somehow I missed the one for September to you have that one available. Thanks so much!!!

maggiehgs 07-21-2008 09:20 AM

This is an example of the morning workshop for my 3rd graders that I'd have on the board for the kids as they came in because I had the same thing as you - 1/2 hour of kids coming into the room.

I used the Evan-Moor Daily Language Review for the language parts, my own D.O.L. program for those, and the dictionary would be a random word for vocabulary development, and the math would be based one what we were learning or what we had already learned, as a review. As the year went on (as the example I'm showing is from the first quarter, week 5 I think), the math portion grew so that there was a total of about 20 items on the MW.

They put all their answers/sentences/work in a MW notebook.

I still do this in 5th, but obviously the content is more advanced. Mostly.

When students are finished with MW, they read, take AR tests, go to the library, or work on any incomplete work. I give plenty of time for all students to be able to finish MW. Then, at a designated time, we correct MW together. MW is an important part of our day because I truly believe that my students get test prep, mini lessons, and remediation during this time.

IMSaved2 07-21-2008 08:07 AM

Does anyone use "Caught 'ya! Grammar with a Giggle?" It seems like it would be a fun exercise for morning work!

maggiesmom 07-16-2008 05:23 PM

I alternate between analogies, daily language review, reading, daily paragraph editing, and quickwrites. Check out the site (I think. Use it as a puzzle...a word a day or how many words can you make from this word and the person who makes the most words correct wins a jolly rancher ( my 5th graders will do anything for a jolly ranche) I also do mystery state. Students are given a clue each day and they have until Friday to make a guess. All winners get jolly ranchers.

tchrrx 07-16-2008 02:22 PM

I'm going to try something new this year. I'm hoping to buy the $.05 notebooks at Wal-Mart. These will be their 3-2-1 books. Each day there will be 3 spelling words that they'll have to unscramble, 2 analogies to complete, and 1 math problem. When finished, they'll move to morning centers. These will be magnets (spelling words and whatever else I can come up with), puzzle, class library, and detective (I have worksheets that are map mysteries & reading comp. mysteries. They'll hang onto these & we'll check them on Fridays.) They'll go to their assigned centers M-Th. Fridays we have chapel, so we won't do morning work. Hopefully all students will have time to do the 3-2-1 books. Students who arrive closer to 8:20 may not get to go to centers, but such is life. I think the morning routine needs to be able to have the kids active at a task. However, it also needs to be something that's enjoyable enough that they try to get to school on time.

rth2008 07-16-2008 01:53 PM

just wanted to add my thanks for the bellwork ideas. i am a new teacher and want to be as organized as i can. your ideas are great and will help me a lot in putting my classroom together.

gordongirl 05-03-2008 06:07 PM

Thank you so much for sharing! Any chance you have an April and May one you would be willing to share? Thank you again so much!!!

leonsicecream 04-09-2008 11:42 AM

Do you have April and May? Just checking.

Little Flower 03-04-2008 07:28 PM

Many thanks for your ideas for bellwork. I have been teaching 2nd grade for 7 years now and we usually do a morning paper that we check together as a class each day before we begin. Inevitably the same children never seem to get homework copied in time to get to the activity.(And of course they are the students that could benefit the most from the reinforcement of skills.) Sometimes I do collect the worksheets just to see who is on task and see if anyone is having a problem. I am not sure I want to change my system this late in the year, but would like to incorporate your ideas into a folder of activities for those students that are always done earlier than the others. I was thinking that they could keep the folder in their desks and work on it with any free time that they have. I would probably offer a reward of some kind, maybe a free book using my Scholastic bonus points, for anyone that completes a specific number of activities at the end of a pre-determined time. Thanks again for all the great ideas!

mjher 02-28-2008 05:36 AM

Here is March.

mjher 02-27-2008 05:47 AM

Thanks for the ideas. I will incorporate them and they'll be done shortly. I don't have a problem with kids asking those questions. Sometimes they get so engrossed in one of the activities, it takes them the whole month to finish. We only have bellwork for 10-15 min. each morning, though. My kids just know that my expectation is that they always do their best work on everything that they do. Quality is more important than quantity. For my procrastinators, I give them a number of activities they have to complete or else they would just stare out the window the whole time. As I said before, my purpose in doing the bellwork is to keep them occupied, not to gather marks. Hope this helps.

leonsicecream 02-26-2008 11:08 PM

Did you happen to have March ready?
Thanks again!!!

ckwong 02-26-2008 06:24 PM

I really loved these ideas! How creative! I do hope to see more as time goes by! *hint* <chuckle>
Thanks again!

Ticks1 02-26-2008 05:20 PM

I know a second grade teacher who makes up a monthly calendar for every table with a daily prompt that each student responds to in their journal. It is a great way to track progress and saves on copying worksheets every morning.

hlc628 02-25-2008 06:17 PM

Thank you for answering my questions. I was wondering, what do you say if students ask "How many do I have to do?" or "When do I have to finish them by?" I have some students who always want to know exactly how much has to be done and by when. I was just wondering how you manage that.

Also, I know you were looking for ideas for March Bellwork. I don't know if this will help or not, but here are some St. Patrick's Day themed ideas I came up with:

1. According to superstition, four leaf clovers bring good luck. Imagine you found a four leaf clover while playing outside. All of a sudden, incredibly lucky things beginning happening to you! Write about all the lucky things that happen to you throughout the day.

2. Legend says that if you catch a leprechaun, he will lead you to his pot of gold! Leprechauns are tricky fellows though, so you need to be creative and tricky when you try to catch him. Even if you do catch a leprechaun, you cannot take your eyes off of him for a second or he will disappear! Draw a leprechaun trap and describe how you would use it to catch a leprechaun.

3. Make as many words as you can from the letters in SAINT PATRICK’S DAY.

4. What do you think a leprechaun looks like? Draw a picture of your leprechaun and give him a name.

mjher 02-25-2008 05:52 AM

Weeellllll,I don't care how many they accomplish. They are busy doing valuable work. Some of them will complete them all, some will work on one or two for the entire month. My objective with the bellwork is to keep them occupied and focussed while I get all the other housekeeping jobs done. Most of the different learning styles are represented,so they have the opportunity to begin their day doing things they like, which sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. I don't necessarily mark the things they do, either. There may be a couple of things I check, but not them all. I learned a long time ago, not to mark EVERYTHING they do. It's just a non-threatening way to begin the day, while we wait for the others to arrive.

tjordan 02-24-2008 10:56 AM

We actually go over each day's activity together at the end of Brain Breakfast time...for example...if we are doing our Moose Math on Monday Math Day, we grade it together and my students become "the teacher" and explain their answers by using our math strategies (UPS). Student volunteers earn tickets for volunteering in front of the class. On Tuesday, students will write the sentences just how they see it on the board and use thier grading pencils to make corrects (my students love to be the teacher). We go over it by doing "editing exercise." Clap for periods, hop for exclamation marks, criss cross our arms for spelling errors and so on...I usually do not grade their work unless I start seeing they are not taking pride in their brain breakfast...I tell them that I reserve the right to take up their folders at any time for a grade...and I follow through with that probably once every 3 weeks. Of course on Fridays I can do any kind of assessment based upon what we have done all week...sometimes I pick a journal prompt or another Moose Math sheet or dol sentences etc... Hopefully that answered your question...I will look to see if I can find the sheets I put in the front of their Brain Breakfast folder and send it on Monday when I'm at school.

Linda/OH 02-24-2008 07:41 AM

I have the same questions as hlc. I was thinking of putting checkboxes on the sheet and students could check off when they have accomplished each item and hand in after completed or ... I was thinking it would be handed in when all are accomplished (or a certain number if adjustments need to be made for accomodations) or at the end of the month?? How do you handle this?

hlc628 02-23-2008 09:24 PM

I love your bellwork activities! Thanks for sharing. I have a couple of quick questions though. Do students choose one a day? Or are they required to have them finished by the end of the month? How do you check to make sure they do everything? Thanks again!

tjordan 02-21-2008 08:30 PM

I don't remember who to give credit to this idea, but we have a Brain Breakfast folder. Each day the kiddos have a specific activity to do.
Monday - Math MOnday (some kind of Math sheet. We have Moose Math and Target Math
Tuesday - "Think it over" Tuesday (we edit sentences or paragraphs -dol)
Wednesday - Word Wall Wednesday (we have a selection of different activites to do with their current word wall words and 5 other word wall words of their choice...word pyramids, rainbow write, scrambled etc...)
Thursday - "Talk about it" Thursday We have a journal writing sheet where they choose topics to write about...they love this day
Friday - Freaky Friday - Teacher Choice...sometimes it could be a quick assessment or a fun sheet...they sometimes work all week to earn a fun sheet for Friday

HOpe this helped!!!

bamateach1908 02-21-2008 07:34 PM

Hey I Like Your Ideas. Where Did You Get Your Ideas From. I Teach 1st Grade And Am Interested The Bellwork.

dwelch 02-21-2008 02:23 PM

This is such a great idea, I can't wait until Monday to implement it. Thanks very much!

maggieq 02-20-2008 06:54 PM

Thank you so much for sharing. You are proof that teachers are absolutely the most generous people in the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! What grade level could you use these up to. I'm moving back up to 5th grade next year from 2nd. Would they work for 5th graders?

loriellen 02-20-2008 03:38 PM

You are fabulous for sharing this with us! Thank you. I will think about March and would love to see it when you finish. I don't believe I could be as creative as you are!!

MrsM79 02-20-2008 10:51 AM

Thanks so much for sharing!!

HARteach 02-20-2008 10:26 AM

This is a great idea! My students are going to enjoy this! Thanks for sharing!

Kasey 02-20-2008 09:12 AM

Wow! I LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing! WOW!

mjher 02-20-2008 06:39 AM

Here's October. I don't have one for September because I figured out half way through that month that I needed something. If anyone has ideas for March, I'd love to have them so that I can get to work on the next month's bellwork.


mjher 02-20-2008 06:35 AM

Here's November

mjher 02-20-2008 06:34 AM

Here's December.

loriellen 02-19-2008 06:49 PM

Mjher, I also love your idea of the bellwork Such creative things, the kis ill love it! It would be wonderful if you could share all the months!! Thanks.

momof2cuties 02-19-2008 03:50 PM

Mjher I love your bell ringer as well!! Thank you so much for sharing!

ladydi 02-19-2008 03:07 PM

I love your "bellwork"! Could you share all the months, from September with us? I would greatly appreciate it!

mjher 02-19-2008 01:19 PM

Here's the one I used for January. They especially liked doing the one of cutting out pictures from a magazine.

mjher 02-19-2008 01:17 PM

I do bellwork. Once a month, I make up a list of activities, photocopy it and tape it into a folded over construction paper. They enjoy the different activities and they get to choose what they want to do. The very first thing they have to do is decorate their folder. I have attached this month's for you.

sandra d 02-19-2008 02:14 AM

One idea is after they copy their homework, take out their homework, and do the normal routeine, you could have a type of graph up on the board with post it notes near and you create categories each day (i.e. with a Venn Diagram -I have 2 vowels in my last name and the other being I have something different [you put] ) and students have to find the appropriate place for their name and then you can discuss it to seg way into your lesson. You can change the categories depending on what subject you have in the morning. You could also incorporate your calendar math if you do calendar math into your morning work and select 1 teacher assistant for the day to help begin/do calendar math.

Kermit 02-19-2008 12:24 AM

I bought these tiny composition books at staples, 3 for 99 cents. I have my kids do a morning message activity in the little journal each day as they come in.

I write the message on the board. Sometimes it's a riddle, a story problem, math facts, subtraction problems, correcting my sentences, geography hunts, etc.

I never have to make any photo copies and the journals are always there to look through.

WATch 02-18-2008 08:11 PM

I've tried the entry task route..and didn't feel like it was the best use of time. This year, the students put their lunch tags in (sch or home) turn in homework, and get their AR books and take tests. This leaves me "free" to do attendance on the computer and meet with individual students to listen to them read or conference about work. Like PP said, they all read at their own level. They love to read at home so they can be the first to take a test!! They are usually begging me to give them more time. It is the best use of morning time I've found. Hope you find something that works for you.

lchristmom 02-18-2008 07:53 PM

My students have a set agenda every morning. This helps get them started as well as keeping a routine (even when subs are there).
First, they copy their homework into their homework agenda book. Next, they have "Morning Work" on the board. I have a run-off sheet that they use for the entire week for this. I take it up on Friday. There is a space for each day's work. The work consists of review math problems and a few sentences with multiple mistakes to find and correct. Then, they do their spelling assignment.
While they are doing their work, I do lunch count, attendance, etc. I also do my reading intervention time. When I have finished my group time, we check their morning work. They should be finished at this time. This system works really well for me.

Socks 02-18-2008 06:50 PM

I teach second grade. My students come in and write their assignments in their planner, then they switch their book box books. After that they read for the rest of the time. It keeps it nice and relaxed. Morning work was tough for me because what would be super easy for some was way to hard for others and I felt like it was more work for me! Reading is already individualized because they choose their own books!

tchrrx 02-18-2008 06:44 PM

From 7:50-8:20 I have students coming into my room. I hate to give them worksheets just to keep them busy, but I have to have something for them to do so that they'll start the day on task. Do you have any suggestions/alternatives to worksheets? Thanks!

(BTW- I do occasionally have them write their multiplication facts, Roman numerals, and spelling words. However, I'd like to get as far away from paperwork as possible, while still having the kids actively learning. Thank you!)

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